Fraud accused opens his defence case

Last updated 05:00 22/03/2014

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A man on trial accused of fraudulently obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars has opened his defence case in the Invercargill District Court.

Barry Andrew Hansen, 50, has pleaded not guilty to three charges of obtaining by pecuniary deception and one of theft by a person in a special relationship.

The Crown alleges Hansen fraudulently obtained more than $300,000.

Hansen is representing himself with lawyer Simon Claver as amicus curiae.

In his opening address yesterday, Hansen told the jury he would not be giving evidence himself but would call four or five witnesses.

Invercargill lawyer John Fraser, the first defence witness, told the court he was called as a solicitor to act for Hansen and to create a creditors' pool.

A person can combine all their debts into a creditors' pool or debt management plan if all creditors agree. The person then repays regular amounts into the pool, from which creditors receive payments.

Mr Fraser sent letters to the creditors. The letter says Hansen was unable to pay his debt immediately but was anxious to pay it. But, he needed time to do so as there were several creditors, Mr Fraser said.

The trial, before Judge Michael Turner, will continue on Monday. Judge Turner told the jury he expected it would be deliberating some time on Tuesday.

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